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MENTOR Launches Resource to Tackle and Unpack Toxic Masculinity

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 4:03pm

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership released a research-backed, youth-informed guide to unpack a timely and critical topic: Toxic masculinity. Conversations About Masculinity: How Mentors Can Support Young Men of Color was released during MBK Rising!, the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper’s Alliance first national convening of the growing network of MBK Communities working to provide boys and young men of color safe and supportive communities and pathways to opportunity. The guide, a one-page summary, and other resources are now available at www.mentoring.org/masculinity

Informed by research and practice, including the experiences of young men from JPMorgan Chase’s The Fellowship Initiative, Conversations About Masculinity provides practical tips to support the development of relationships that encourage young men to explore expressions of masculinity to serve healthy decision making, self-development, and care for others.

The guide’s key takeaway: Masculinity is not monolithic. Supporting young people in exploring gender and navigating difference is an essential part of preparing them for an increasingly complex, global, and interconnected society and workforce.

Our understanding of gender is evolving, and how we understand masculinity is evolving with it. With this guide, mentoring programs, practitioners, and mentors can reflect on their experiences, biases, and assumptions to more effectively leverage their strengths and the power of mentoring to support young people.

“Developing healthy masculinity is increasingly at the forefront of public discussions, and this guide gives adults and young people the tools to have the discussions that are influential in fostering a young person’s evolving identity,” said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. “To unpack masculinity and encourage healthy expressions of what it means to be masculine, we must reflect on our own lived experience and biases. We are most influenced by the people we trust, and mentoring relationships are onramps for critical conversations. This guide is a research-backed roadmap.”

“One of the most important skills needed to thrive in a complex global workforce is the ability to work in diverse teams,” said Linda Rodriguez, Executive Director of Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase. Through conversations with young people, we discovered that many are struggling with diversity and, specifically, how to navigate shifts in understanding identity, gender definitions, and expectations for young men during this time of change. We are grateful to MENTOR and Vibrant for their leadership creating this valuable resource to support mentors and young people as they explore these important issues.”

The guide draws on interviews, focus groups, and best practices in positive youth development. The guide is intended for mentors, whether matched in formal programs or mentoring informally as coaches, managers, or other adults in young people’s lives, and is also relevant for all adults engaging with young people. The content of this guide can be used to support conversations between mentors and youth of all backgrounds, including women and girls who are deeply impacted by masculinity and often serve as mentors and allies to boys and men. Peers, whether young people or mentors, can also leverage this content to engage in dialogue with each other. 

Findings and takeaways from the guide:

  • Mentoring Relationships Matter. One of the most useful and productive ways to help young men of color think about masculinity is through the mentor-mentee relationship. Young people understand the importance of modeling and advocate for receiving feedback about their choices. 

  • Reinforce and Support Positive Progress. When young people express themselves in ways that support their social and emotional health, contribute to the well-being of others, and support progress toward their goals, it is important that these behaviors are reinforced and supported, particularly with feedback acknowledging the positive impact of those choices. It is especially important to praise healthy behaviors that are non-typical expressions of masculinity, such as crying when emotional. 

  • Celebrate Defying Stereotypes. Mentors can reinforce behaviors rooted in service, empathy, help-seeking, compassion, and affirmation of others by validating young men when observing them do something important that defies male stereotypes.

  • Lean on Community. The power of community matters, as masculinity is formed in community. Both individual relationships and group contexts can be leveraged to support healthy identity development for youth and adults.

This report was made possible with support from The Fellowship Initiative at JPMorgan Chase & Co, Action Research Associates, and Vibrant Emotional Health. For more information, visit www.mentoring.org/masculinity

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR’s mission is to close the mentoring gap and ensure our nation’s young people have the support they need through quality mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school, and ultimately, work. To achieve this, MENTOR collaborates with its network of Affiliates and works to drive the investment of time and money into high-impact mentoring programs and advance quality mentoring through the development and delivery of standards, cutting-edge research, and state-of-the-art tools.  


Benevity Announces 2019 Goodies Award Winners

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 10:01am

Benevity, Inc., the global leader in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and employee engagement software, today announced the winners of its 2019 Corporate Goodness Awards. “The Goodies” were presented last night at Benevity's Annual Goodness Matters client conference in Palm Springs and recognize progressive companies who are leading the social impact space with innovative, inclusive approaches to community investment and employee engagement in giving, volunteering, activism and positive actions.

This year’s Goodies Award winners represent a range of industries and approaches, but all share the distinction of propelling a shared sense of purpose and broad social impact through their people, customers and the public. Here are the winners in the eight award categories presented at Goodness Matters:

Micron Technology - The NewB Award for most transformative new approach to their employee engagement program, which saw the company achieve 130,000 volunteer hours and $2 million dollars in company matching funds in just one year. This was done through a seamless online experience for 34,000 employees across nine countries.

TransCanada - The Moonshot Award for boldness and creativity. During TransCanada’s “Get Empowered” campaign, their people come up with unique and personal ways to do good—like a razor drive for a homeless shelter, a Battle of the Bands competition for charity and taking part in small acts of kindness. Last year, Get Empowered generated $1.3M in donations and more than 12,000 volunteer hours in a single month.

MUFG Union Bank - The Community Hero Award for best-in-class approach to driving social impact. In 2018, Union Bank launched the Versaic by Benevity grants management system to streamline their grantmaking process. They have successfully integrated employees into their process with each grant application matched to a local employee “sponsor” who is empowered to review, provide feedback and, if approved, share the good news with the recipient organization.

LinkedIn - The People Power Award for promoting purpose through their people’s passions. With 13,000 employees in 15 countries, LinkedIn gives their people full trust and freedom to publish user-generated opportunities for their colleagues, friends and family to participate in. In their first 2.5 months with Benevity, their employees created, promoted and shared more than 100 giving opportunities across 6 countries—a grassroots approach that the company is now replicating with their volunteering program, as well. 

Lush - The BeCause Award for dedication to the social landscape. Through their Charitable Giving and Ethical Campaigns, Lush supports communities, protects the environment and ensures the rights of animals. Their public-facing campaigns tackle issues ranging from banning microbeads and the trophy hunting of grizzly bears to marriage equality and transgender rights. They involve employees as citizen activists, spreading Goodness in their shops to customers, and have donated more than $36 million to 2,600 grassroots organizations in 47 countries since 2007.

Accenture Canada The Bestie Award for best-in-class approach and overall social impact. Accenture Canada’s Making a Difference program provides flexible ways for all of their people (including contractors and offsite workers) to get involved—and grew participation by an incredible 456% within a year of launching! Last year alone, their Skills To Succeed volunteer initiative saw 2,200 employee volunteers help at-risk women, people with disabilities, indigenous people, young adults, newcomers to Canada and others develop the skills needed to secure jobs in a digital economy.

Jennifer Mitchell, Senior Manager, Employee Engagagement at PlayStation and Tiana Austrel, Associate Corporate Citizenship Specialist at Illumina - The BUFFY Award for leadership, innovation and impact in administrating Goodness programs and leveraging Benevity’s software for maximum impact.

Jennifer is a spirited person who works tirelessly to make her corporate Goodness program,  PlayStation Cares, the best it can be. In her first six months with Benevity, Jennifer ran several innovative initiatives including a holiday campaign where employees who donated physical retail or restaurant gift cards to charities received rewards in the same value that they could donate to the charity of their choice. She also engaged PlayStation people in friendraising for children’s hospitals near their offices in San Francisco and Sorrento Valley—exceeding the donation volume goals by 65% and 38% respectively.

Tiana may be one of our youngest program leaders but has already accomplished so much in her career at Illumina. In 2018, Tiana travelled to the company’s SE Asia offices to endorse and grow Illumina’s global ambassador program, and to learn giving culture nuances at each location. When asked what she’s most proud of, Tiana will tell you about Illumina’s skills-based volunteer program, Genomics 101, where employees visit classrooms around the country to teach students about genomics in a fun, hands-on learning experience.

“The Goodies celebrate some of our most trailblazing clients and remind all of us in the social impact space what is possible when we take risks, dream big and embrace enabling technology,” said Bryan de Lottinville, Founder and CEO of Benevity. “It is gratifying to see the manifestation of our clients’ innovative approaches creating an indelible impact in their companies and the communities they serve, and we feel grateful to be a part of their success.  It is becoming increasingly difficult to choose the winners, which is a high quality problem we’re proud to be faclilating through our technology platform.  Each of this year’s winners is active proof that Goodness is becoming a big part of corporate culture, and that empowering people to give to causes they care about in meaningful ways ignites passion through purpose.”

About Benevity
Benevity, Inc., a certified B Corporation, is the global leader in corporate social responsibility and employee engagement software, including online giving, matching, volunteering and community investment. Many of the world’s most iconic brands rely on Benevity’s award-winning cloud solutions to power corporate “Goodness” programs that attract, retain and engage today’s diverse workforce by connecting people to the causes that matter to them. With software that is available in 17 languages, to an employee base of 10 million users around the world, Benevity has processed over 3 billion dollars in donations and 15 million hours of volunteering time this year to almost 150,000 charities worldwide.

Media Contact
Amanda Orr
Kickstart for Benevity

SC Johnson, Plastic Bank Take Action to Solve Ocean Plastic Pollution at GreenBiz 2019

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 10:00pm

To continue building the momentum to address the crisis of plastic in our world’s oceans, business leaders, governments and civil society must work together to help solve this problem. That was the message delivered by SC Johnson Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson during a panel discussion Wednesday at GreenBiz 2019 in Phoenix.

Johnson highlighted the many ways SC Johnson is doing its part to combat the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans, including committing to make 100 percent of its plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. During the panel, he announced SC Johnson will launch in April 2019 the first-ever 100 percent recycled ocean plastic bottle in a major home cleaning brand: Windex® Vinegar Ocean Plastic, with as many as 8 million units hitting shelves at major North American retailers including Target and Walmart.

“Environmental leadership has long been a part of the DNA of our company,” said Johnson at GreenBiz 2019. “Trust in business is at an all-time low today, and trust is the thing that keeps our consumers coming back to buy our products. I think one of the important ways that people decide to trust a company is how you treat people and the planet.”

Johnson was joined by Plastic Bank CEO David Katz. Together, they highlighted the companies’ partnership in Indonesia, where SC Johnson and Plastic Bank have opened eight plastic recycling collection centers to help increase recycling rates in impoverished communities while addressing the challenges of poverty. All of the centers in the country are now operational, putting the program ahead of schedule.

As part of the company’s continuing efforts to champion the critical need to end ocean-bound plastic waste, SC Johnson this week announced a new challenge: inviting visitors at GreenBiz19 and social media users around the world to share their support for reducing ocean plastic by tagging #SocialPlastic or #SCJRecycles in their posts. If the company counts at least 20,000 tweets or retweets with those tags by the end of the week, it will open an additional recycling center in Indonesia.

“I want to continue the momentum that’s building out there around awareness of this issue, because that’s going to help us solve it,” explained Johnson. “With the attention this issue has gotten around the world, we’re at a tipping point. Business has an opportunity to embrace this change and continue to drive attention to this issue.”

For more information and supporting multimedia assets, visit https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8502851-sc-johnson-windex-100-percent-recycled-ocean-plastic/


About SC Johnson

SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 133-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com  #SCJRecycles

Top Image: At GreenBiz 2019, SC Johnson Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson (left) and Plastic Bank Founder and CEO David Katz (center) discussed their partnership to address the ocean plastic crisis with moderator Heather Clancy, Editorial Director of GreenBiz.

Bottom Image: SC Johnson Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson adds his signature to the SC Johnson booth to support the company’s social media challenge to raise awareness on ocean plastic.

SC Johnson to Launch First-Ever 100% Recycled Ocean Plastic Bottle in a Major Home Cleaning Brand

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 9:59am

As part of its ongoing commitment to tackling the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans, SC Johnson has announced that it will launch the industry’s first product that uses 100 percent recycled ocean plastic in a major home cleaning brand. That product is part of the ubiquitous Windex® brand, one of the company’s most popular brands and a household favorite for the past 86 years.

“With over 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, conditions are continuing to get worse and worse,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “The Windex bottle is just one of the many ways we are not only providing solutions to combat ocean pollution but taking action to make these solutions a reality.”

The Windex® Vinegar Ocean Plastic bottles are an everyday offering, and will be made available at North American retailers such as Target and Walmart. As many as 8 million units will hit retail shelves this spring. The new product is the world’s first glass cleaner bottle made from 100 percent recycled ocean plastic, and it is also non-toxic and cruelty-free.

As part of the release of Windex® Vinegar Ocean Plastic bottles, Johnson will appear February 27 at the GreenBiz 2019 conference in Phoenix. He will discuss the role companies can play to combat the ocean plastic pollution crisis. Attendees at the conference will learn about the SC Johnson-Plastic Bank partnership, and how it is transforming the lives of people in Indonesia with new economic opportunities and by preventing plastic from ending up in waterways.

Plans are underway to launch a 100 percent Social Plastic® Windex® bottle with Plastic Bank by fall of 2019. This product is another milestone in the company’s efforts to tackle ocean plastic pollution. 

This product is innovative and unlike anything else on the market as it will include recycled ocean-bound social plastic sourced by Plastic Bank from Haiti, the Philippines and Indonesia, which not only helps the environment but also provides social benefits to people living below the poverty level. Under this program, the company is now creating recycling programs as part of the solution to stopping ocean-bound plastic and addressing poverty at the same time. The program is designed to educate on recycling and get people to live with and use plastic responsibly. Each bottle will represent a new source of income or economic opportunity for the program’s participants.

“The goal is to create recycling infrastructures to help minimize plastic waste and address the challenges of poverty at the same time,” said Johnson. “This is a massive environmental issue, and it is going to take businesses, governments, NGOs and civil society working together to solve it.”

Windex® Original Glass Cleaner is known for the unbeatable streak-free shine in cleaning windows, mirrors, glass shower doors, glass top stoves and more. Thanks to its formulation with Ammonia-D®, it starts working on fingerprints, dirt and other messes even before you wipe.


About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 133-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com  #SCJRecycles

Etsy Leads e-Commerce Towards Carbon Neutral Shipping

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 9:59am

Etsy, the global marketplace for unique and creative goods, is committed to using the power of business to strengthen communities and empower people. As Etsy works to connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world and advances their mission of keeping commerce human, the company faces a unique set of challenges for managing carbon impacts and fostering responsible resource use.

Key Challenges

Etsy is committed to building long-term climate resilience across their operations. They have set ambitious targets to power their offices and computing infrastructure with 100% renewable electricity and running zero waste operations by 2020. However, in 2018, 98% of Etsy’s carbon impact stemmed from items shipped from Etsy sellers to Etsy buyers. While these scope 3 emissions from shipping are outside of Etsy’s direct control, Etsy felt responsible to step up and take immediate action on behalf of the millions of buyers and sellers active in the Etsy marketplace. To do this, Etsy sought to mitigate this carbon impact through verified emissions reductions - with an eye to catalyzing broader industry change. They have also identified a number of additional levers that they hope can drive carbon reduction longer term, including policy advocacy, vendor negotiation, and peer collaboration.

How We Helped

3Degrees helped Etsy to identify a portfolio of emission reduction projects to meet their desire for immediate action while fostering more sustainable shipping solutions for the future.

The key elements of the Etsy program designed by 3Degrees are:

  • Environmental integrity.  This is the most fundamental aspect of the program design and a core element of every carbon offset sold by 3Degrees. Environmental integrity can generally be broken down into two main components: (a) “additionality,” the notion that the emission reductions would not have been achieved without the promise of funding from carbon offset sales, and (b) rigorous and conservative quantification of the actual emission reductions achieved. All 3Degrees projects are registered under internationally recognized standards maintained by not-for-profit environmental organizations, including the American Carbon Registry (ACR)Climate Action Reserve (CAR), Gold Standard, and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). These standards require that project emission reductions are monitored and quantified on a regular basis and that this quantification and project additionality are independently verified by accredited third parties.

  • Impactful and unique projects to address GHG emissions. Leveraging 3Degrees’ proprietary project portfolio and experience addressing transportation emissions, Etsy’s initial investment is supporting four unique projects. Over time, Etsy’s emission reduction investments will support the development of new projects that provide similar impact.

    • UPM Blandin Native American Hardwoods Conservation Project, which reduces air pollution and increases the supply of sustainable forestry products. The Blandin Forest supports the continued conservation of nearly 20 million trees and up to 500,000 new trees will be planted this year.

    • Meridian magnesium project, which manufactures automotive parts that help lightweight vehicles and improve vehicle fuel efficiency. Carbon offsets are generated by reducing the use of SF6, a powerful greenhouse gas that is commonly used in magnesium production for automotive parts.

    • Giriraj Bundled Wind Power Project and The Solar Grouped Project by ACME, which generate clean, renewable wind and solar power, respectively, that displace electricity generated by traditional fossil fuel sources.

  • Strengthen communities. Etsy’s emission reduction projects provide co-benefits important to human health, well-being, and the livelihoods of local communities. These projects (a) reduce local air pollution, (b) improve water quality and security and (c) promote biodiversity. The portfolio also includes projects that support renewable energy markets and transportation sector emission reductions. 


  • Starting in 2019, Etsy is offsetting the emissions from their global supply chain, specifically emissions created when sellers on their global marketplace ship items to buyers.

  • Etsy’s program is notable for taking voluntary action to address emissions on behalf of their sellers and also makes Etsy the first major online shopping destination to offset 100% of their shipping emissions.

  • All offset projects provide co-benefits critical to human health, well-being, and the livelihoods of local communities.

“Etsy has a long-standing track record of working to reduce our environmental footprint. Our carbon neutral shipping initiative is a major milestone within our larger commitment to act urgently and aggressively in the fight against climate change,” said Chelsea Mozen, Sustainability Lead at Etsy. “We are excited to partner with 3Degrees in order to support projects with a high level of environmental integrity that will evolve with our growing needs.”

More on 3Degrees Carbon Offsets

Chevron Named “Corporate Bully of the Year” For Attacks On Ecuadorian Indigenous Peoples and Their Supporters

Tue, 02/26/2019 - 6:53pm

Chevron took another major hit this week over its Ecuador pollution disaster after a coalition of prominent civil rights groups named the company the “Corporate Bully of the Year” for its vicious attacks against Indigenous peoples and their counsel who won a landmark $12 billion environmental judgment.

The award was announced Monday by the SLAPP Task Force, a coalition of prominent advocacy groups that includes the ACLU, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace, Earth Rights International, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The group’s mission is to stop SLAPP lawsuits, defined as legal actions launched by corporations or governments designed to harass and silence critics in violation of the First Amendment.

By bestowing the award on Chevron, the group focused attention on the company’s avowed “demonization campaign” targeting U.S. human rights attorney and solo practitioner Steven Donziger, a Harvard Law grad and former classmate of President Obama. Chevron has used dozens of law and public relations firms to try target Donziger – described by BusinessWeek magazine as a man of “Herculean tenacity” -- and drive him from the case.

Led by its lawyers at the Gibson Dunn firm, Chevron paid a corrupt witness $2 million to lie under oath that the Ecuador judgment was obtained by fraud, but the witness later recanted most of his testimony. (See here for news article on the corrupt witness; here for details of Chevron’s fraud.) Gibson Dunn previously had been caught trying to frame a man with fake evidence on behalf of a wealthy client.

In bestowing the “Corporate Bully” award on Chevron, the group said: “Chevron’s litigation strategy in 2018 followed the same playbook it has been using for years: bully, harass, intimidate... Chevron has only ramped up its bully tactics in what has been described as the “vengeance stage” of its 25-year long legal effort to avoid accountability for oil-spilling in Ecuador.

“Despite spending an estimated $2 billion to hire 60 law firms and 2,000 lawyers to pursue the case, Chevron spent most of 2018 trying to strip away Donziger’s license to practice law and bankrupt him through the recovery of attorney fees. More recently, Chevron has issued aggressive and far-reaching subpoenas to pursue third-party critics of the energy giant. This has included Katie Sullivan, a small business owner who volunteered to help fundraise and organize documents for Ecuadorian victims, who testified that she had to personally spend at least $170,000 in legal fees trying to comply with Chevron’s subpoena as well as endure Chevron’s harassment of her clients.” (See here for background on Chevron’s attacks against Sullivan.)

Chevron’s SLAPP strategy against the Ecuadorians and their supporters has for the last nine years been greatly facilitated by a pro-business U.S. federal judge, Lewis A. Kaplan. Accused of arrogance by the Ecuadorians, Kaplan has refused to hear evidence of Chevron’s pollution and accepted the paid-for witness testimony of the company’s corrupt witness, Alberto Guerra. He also authorized Chevron to pay secret and still undisclosed payments to the private bank account of a close friend he appointed as Special Master in the case, Max Gitter.

Chevron was found guilty by four layers of courts in Ecuador of deliberately dumping 16 billion gallons of oil waste into the country’s Amazon rainforest, decimating Indigenous groups and causing widespread deaths from cancers and other oil-related diseases. Chevron sold off its assets in Ecuador during the trial and has vowed to fight enforcement actions designed to seize company assets, including one action that is pending in Canada.

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court, in the country where Chevron insisted the trial be held and where it had accepted jurisdiction, affirmed the judgment in a unanimous decision last July. That followed a letter in May from 36 institutional shareholders of Chevron to CEO Michael Wirth urging him to settle the case.

Working out of his small Manhattan apartment, Donziger continues to fight the company along with a team of lawyers in Canada and Ecuador that works largely pro bono. He already has fended off 11 attempts by Chevron to hold him in contempt of court in the U.S. for his work on the case. Just weeks ago, Donziger began to face down a Chevron motion to imprison him if he doesn’t turn over his computer and cell phone to the company.

Donziger also wrote a criminal referral letter to the U.S. Department of Justice outlining how Chevron executives, helped by company lawyers at the Gibson Dunn firm, manufactured evidence and engaged in witness bribery to try to taint the Ecuadorians and their counsel as part of its SLAPP strategy. He also has filed a complaint before the Inter-American Commission On Human Rights against Kaplan and the U.S. government for failing to protect his Free Speech rights. He has attracted the support of many human rights advocates, including the founders of London-based Global Witness, constitutional scholar Martin Garbus, and Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson.

Patricio Salazar, the lead Ecuadorian lawyer for the affected communities, said Chevron’s award is “most deserving” given the destruction caused in the South American nation.

“I want to salute the many organizations that have come together to highlight the dangerous threat that SLAPP lawsuits pose to Free Speech in our society,” Salazar said. “There is probably no more bullying and abusive company in the world than Chevron when it comes to using the civil justice system to try to intimidate its perceived enemies. Steven Donziger is a hero to us for standing up to the company.”

Donziger said there was no particular formula for resisting SLAPP lawsuits other than to keep fighting.

“The first step is to recognize what it is and call out the perpetrators for engaging in misconduct,” Donziger said. “The second step is to avoid getting distracted by the antics, as they are designed to neutralize advocacy. The fundamental fact in our case is that the Ecuadorians won and are enforcing the judgment against Chevron’s assets in Canada despite Chevron’s massive expenditures. Chevron and its CEO Michael Wirth simply cannot stop the forward momentum.”

For more background on Chevron’s broader intimidation campaign, see this article by Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler. Here is an article about how Chevron pressured a business owner to sign a false affidavit and spend more than $170,000 in legal fees after she tried to help the affected communities.

Walmart Announces New Plastic Packaging Waste Reduction Commitments

Tue, 02/26/2019 - 3:51pm

Walmart today issued a bold new set of plastic waste reduction commitments by leveraging its massive private brand program. The new commitments, announced at Walmart’s annual supplier forum, are expected to impact over 30,000 SKUs. The move is designed to help get to the heart of the problem by focusing on the retailer’s private brand packaging, building upon existing efforts to reduce plastic waste in Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club operations, and encouraging national brand suppliers to set similar packaging goals. At the supplier forum, Walmart executives highlighted that the company is working with suppliers to expand efforts to improve the sustainability of its private brand product packaging, with an emphasis on increasing recyclability and making it easier for customers to recycle.

Walmart announced that it will work with its U.S. private brand suppliers on the following commitments:

  • Seek to achieve 100 percent recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable packaging for its private brand packaging by 2025;

  • Target at least 20 percent post-consumer recycled content in private brand packaging by 2025;

  • Label 100 percent of food and consumable private brand packaging with the How2Recycle® label by 2022;

  • Work with suppliers to eliminate the non-recyclable packaging material PVC in general merchandise packaging by 2020; and

  • Reduce private brand plastic packaging when possible, optimizing the use to meet the need.

During the forum, Walmart encouraged it’s national brand suppliers to make similar packaging commitments through the retailer’s Project Gigaton platform. The retailer has also introduced a new recycling playbook designed to provide information to companies pursuing recyclable packaging and recycled content goals. The recycling playbook gives overviews on what type of plastic packaging is more easily recyclable and provides information on recycling challenges for certain packaging materials. This new recycling guidance is a supplement to Walmart’s existing sustainable packaging playbook that offers information on sustainable packaging best practices such as optimizing packaging design and using consumer-friendly recycling labels.

Plastic waste is a growing concern for Walmart customers, associates and other key stakeholders. Walmart’s aspiration is to achieve zero plastic waste by taking actions across its business and working with suppliers to use less plastic, recycle more and support innovations to improve plastic waste reduction systems.

Some of the retailer’s current efforts to reach this goal include:

  • Offering low cost, high quality alternatives for single use plastic consumable products such as straws, cutlery and disposable tabletops;

  • Recycling shrink wrap in most markets—151 million pounds of plastics were recycled globally in 2017;

  • Providing access to in-store plastic bag and film recycling bins for customers; and

  • Encouraging suppliers to include the How2Recycle label on pack—last year more than

    800 Walmart private label suppliers participated.

The Walmart Foundation is also supporting a number of circular economy initiatives such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Beyond 34 project – a multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at increasing the current 34 percent recycling rate in the U.S. by providing a scalable model to increase and improve recycling and recovery rates in local communities.

“As a global retailer that has set an ambitious aspirational goal to create zero waste, we fully recognize that reducing plastic waste by increasing packaging circularity is an area where Walmart can lead,” said Laura Phillips, Senior Vice President for Global Sustainability at Walmart Inc. “Today’s announcement marks another key milestone in our ongoing journey of working with our private brand and national brand suppliers to deliver access to high-quality, sustainable products as part of the Walmart everyday low price promise.”

“This announcement sends a positive signal to the marketplace, especially in the United States,” said Steve Alexander, CEO of the Association for Plastics Recyclers. “We applaud Walmart for establishing such a strong recyclable packaging goal and encourage others to pursue similar ambitions.”

“We commend Walmart for working with suppliers in seeking solutions to shared problems related to plastic waste,” said Shailesh Jejurikar, President of Procter and Gamble’s Fabric Care Division. “In setting our own plastic waste reduction goals, P&G understands that driving meaningful change in this space will require collaboration.”

In being a signatory to the G7 Oceans Plastics Charter and the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment being led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the UN Environment, Walmart is working globally to reduce plastic waste within its operations and throughout its value chain. By the end of 2017, Walmart diverted from landfills 81 percent of unsold products, packaging and other waste materials in the U.S.

Walmart’s plastic waste reduction efforts are part of the company’s larger commitment to use its size and scale for good and do business in a way that aims to enhance economic opportunity, encourage sustainability and strengthen local communities. Read more at the Walmart Sustainability Hub.

Plastic Waste in the United States 
While plastic provides numerous benefits relative to other materials (low cost, shelf life, portability, flexibility, etc.), society’s ability to collect and recycle plastic waste has failed to keep up with exponential increases in plastic production, which has grown to nearly half a billion tons per year. Approximately 35% of plastic produced is used in packaging, the majority of which is used once and then discarded. Less than 14% of plastic packaging is recycled globally. This low number is likely driven by a combination of consumer confusion about where/how to recycle, weak collection infrastructure, and broken links between plastic design and scalable processing infrastructure.

About Walmart 
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 275 million customers and members visit our more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2019 revenue of $514.4 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

Prairie Organic Spirits Announces “Spirit of Change Fund” to Increase Industry’s Environmental Impact

Tue, 02/26/2019 - 9:51am

Prairie Organic Spirits, the nation’s leading organic spirits brand, is toasting to the environment with a new, industry-leading initiative. Through its “Spirit of Change Fund,” Prairie Organic will commit 1 percent of sales to support the next generation of organic farmers and to help transition more conventional farmland to organic.

In support of Prairie Organic’s mission to grow organic spirits for the land, farmers and future, the brand’s effort is part of a larger goal: to have organic spirits equal 5 percent of alcohol category sales. This goal isn’t arbitrary. Organic food is now mainstream, and more than 80 percent of U.S. households purchase organic food or beverages on a regular basis [source: Organic Trade Association 2017 survey], accounting for roughly 5 percent of total U.S. food and beverage sales. Currently, organic alcohol makes up less than 1 percent of total alcohol industry sales.

“The spirits industry significantly lags behind food and beverage when it comes to organics,” said Mike Duggan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prairie Organic Spirits. “It’s time we lead the industry to do better, so we started the Spirit of Change Fund as our commitment to helping make a significant, lasting impact on our environment.”

Rodale Institute Selected as Spirit of Change Fund Partner
The Spirit of Change Fund’s primary partner will be Rodale Institute, a non-profit committed to growing the organic movement through research, farmer training and consumer education. Initially, Prairie Organic will provide 10 scholarships for interns accepted into Rodale Institute’s Next Generation Scholarship Program, which provides practical, hands-on organic agriculture knowledge and skills to future organic farmers.  

"We truly believe the future of farming is organic,” said Jeff Moyer, Rodale Institute executive director. “With Prairie Organic’s support, we’re able to train a new generation of farmers to employ regenerative practices in their community – improving the land, air and soil, but also access to healthy food and thriving jobs. This partnership represents hope and the positive potential of organic farming.”

Duggan added, “Rodale Institute is a pioneer in the organic industry, and its programming has pushed the organic industry to where it is today. We couldn’t be more thrilled – and proud – to begin a strong partnership with Rodale and its farmers to help promote the growth of more organic farmland.”

A Call to Action with a Powerful Impact
Prairie Organic Spirits is calling on others in the industry, including distributors, retailers, bars and restaurants, to work toward the same ambitious goal. If organic spirits grew to 5 percent of total U.S. alcohol sales, the potential impact would be immense: approximately 8.0 million acres of conventional farmland would be converted to organic and approximately 7.4 million pounds of pesticides would go unused annually.

In addition to the Spirit of Change Fund, Prairie Organic also has a company-wide initiative called OneTeam G.R.E.E.N., which unites its employees, partners, suppliers and community to have a positive impact on society and the environment by creating a more sustainable company and industry. This initiative aims to increase corporate sustainability practices in addition to farming organically and includes reducing electrical usage, establishing better water conservation practices, decreasing waste sent to landfills, and promoting recycling within its facilities.

Duggan reminds people that even small actions can make a difference. “The next time you’re enjoying your favorite cocktail with friends and family, make it with Prairie Organic vodka or gin. You’ll feel good that this small action will have a lasting, positive impact on our farmers and future.”


About Prairie Organic Spirits
Prairie Organic Spirits, based in Princeton, Minn., produces farm-crafted spirits using single-sourced, vintage corn grown on family-owned, organic Midwest farms. The #1 USDA Certified organic spirits brand, Prairie Organic Spirits distills each batch to taste, with a commitment to high-quality ingredients. Prairie Organic offers spirits in three award-winning expressions – Organic Vodka, Organic Cucumber Flavored Vodka and Organic Gin – all of which are free from herbicides, pesticides and gluten. Phillips Distilling Company founded the brand in 2008 with a mission to grow organic spirits for the land, farmers and future. For more information, visit www.prairieorganicspirits.com and follow @PrairieOrganic on Instagram and Twitter.

About Rodale Institute
Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For 70 years, the Institute has been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest option for people and the planet. Today, Rodale Institute is the global leader in regenerative organic agriculture. Learn more at RodaleInstitute.org.

About Phillips Distilling Company
Phillips Distilling Company (Phillips) is one of the most innovative and enduring distilled spirits companies in the North America. Over 107 years in the making, Phillips continues to produce high-quality products using only the finest ingredients, sourced from around the globe. Phillips is consistently a pioneer in the spirits industry, from America’s first schnapps in the 1930s to flavored vodka in the 1950s to flavored whiskey in the 1990s to organic spirits in the 2000s. The Phillips portfolio includes UV Vodka flavored vodkas, Prairie Organic Spirits, Revel Stoke Whiskies, Casa Centinela and CabritoTequilas, Marca Negra and Meteoro Mezcals, La Hechicera Aged Rum, Tomatin Scotch Whiskies, Trader Vic’s rum, Phillips Spirits and Douglas & Todd Small Batch Bourbon. The company is based in Princeton, Minn., with offices in Minneapolis. 

An Ocean of Tweets Can Do the Ocean Some Good

Tue, 02/26/2019 - 9:51am

As it champions the critical need to end ocean bound plastic waste, consumer products leader SC Johnson is offering a new challenge. Having already sponsored eight plastic recycling centers in Indonesia, the company will build an additional one if social media dialogue raises the profile of recycling and Social Plastic®.

“Plastic pollution has become a critical issue around the globe, especially where recycling infrastructure is not in place. We believe the more people are talking about this issue, the more government, businesses, NGOs and communities will work together to address it,” explains Kelly Semrau, Senior Vice President – Global Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability at SC Johnson. “Social media can be a great motivator.”

This week, SC Johnson will host a booth at GreenBiz19 to talk about ocean plastic and the company’s efforts to reduce plastic waste. These include working to triple post-consumer recycled plastic in packaging and make all SC Johnson plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. In January, the company also signed on as the 10th Global Partner with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, working to drive market-leading circular economy initiatives at scale. 

The recycling centers SC Johnson has opened with Plastic Bank in Indonesia have been designed to increase infrastructure that helps stop plastic from leaking into the ocean. People in the local community can bring plastic in for recycling and exchange it for digital tokens. This means that any member of the community can then get increased access to income, while plastic collection and recycling is incentivized.

Visitors at GreenBiz19 and social media users around the world are invited to share their support for reducing ocean plastic by tagging #SocialPlastic or #SCJRecycles in posts this week. If the company counts at least 20,000 tweets or retweets with those tags by the end of the week, it will open an additional recycling center.

For more information on SC Johnson’s commitment to addressing plastic pollution and to learn how the company is helping to support a more circular plastic economy, visit www.scjohnson.com/plastic


SC Johnson Global Public Affairs

About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 133-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com

ImpactAssets Releases Eighth Annual IA 50 Impact Investment Fund Manager Showcase

Tue, 02/26/2019 - 9:51am

 ImpactAssets has released its ImpactAssets 50 2019 (IA 50), a publicly available, online database for impact investors, family offices, financial advisors and institutional investors that features a diversified listing of 50 private capital fund managers that deliver social and environmental impact as well as financial returns.  IA 50 users can sort and filter across a range of asset classes (debt, private equity and real assets), geographies, size of funds, themes and more.

“This year’s IA 50 highlights a diverse and tested group of fund managers that are delivering environmental and social impact as well as solid investment returns,” said Jed Emerson, ImpactAssets Senior Fellow, and IA 50 Review Committee Chair.  “Whether you are just starting your impact investing journey or are a veteran impact investor, the IA 50 is a trusted database to help investors identify experienced impact investment firms and explore the landscape of potential investment options.”

The IA 50 2019 saw a record number of private debt and equity fund manager applications. Managers who met the IA 50’s in-depth review criteria manage an estimated $28.5 billion in assets devoted to creating measurable, positive impact. This year's showcase includes:

‘Unicorns’ and Emerging Funds: Six fund managers in the 2019 list have more than $1 billion in assets under management (AUM), while six have $10 million to $49 million in AUM. The number of fund managers in the $100-$500 million range saw the greatest growth, increasing nearly 30%, due in part to several new fund managers who made the IA 50 listing for the first time.

UN Sustainable Development Goals Categorization: New this year, the IA 50 database is aligned with the UNSDG framework, with the primary SDG listed for each fund manager. 

Deep Experience: Fund managers in this year’s IA 50 have weathered multiple market cycles, with 66% of fund managers in operation for more than 10 years—a dramatic increase in manager tenure since the database was launched. In aggregate, IA 50 fund managers have more than 1,500 years of impact investing experience.

Diversity and Inclusion: Nearly 9 in 10 (86%) IA 50 fund managers report that 25% or more of their investment professionals are women and/or from under-represented groups, while half have teams with 50% or more women and other under-represented groups, a significantly higher percentage than investment industry averages.  

Impact and Return: More than 75% of fund managers target market rate or above market rate returns, and 94% have delivered either in line or above their initial target returns.

“As impact investing continues its inexorable rise, it is critical to provide investors with a curated, objective evaluation of impact fund managers,” said Jennifer Kenning, CEO and Co-Founder of Align Impact, and IA 50 Senior Investment Advisor.  “The IA 50 is built to filter out the noise that is growing louder in impact investing and help investors focus on deep, meaningful impact.”

In addition to Emerson and Kenning, the IA 50 Review Committee is comprised of impact investment experts and leaders, including Karl "Charly" Kleissner, Co-Founder of Toniic and KL Felicitas Foundation; Kathy Leonard, Senior Vice President, Investments and Senior Portfolio Manager for UBS; Stephanie Cohn Rupp, Managing Director, and Partner, Tiedemann Wealth Management; Fran Seegull, Executive Director, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, Ford Foundation; Liesel Pritzker Simmons and Ian Simmons, Co-Founders of Blue Haven Initiative and Matthew Weatherley-White, Co-Founder and Managing Director of The CAPROCK Group. 

“ImpactAssets is focused on fostering deep impact investing with innovative investment solutions, resources and education,” said Margret Trilli, President and Chief Investment Officer at ImpactAssets. “The IA 50 is a cornerstone of our efforts to help investors gain access to the resources they need in order to help double the impact of their capital.”

The IA 50 is not an index or investable platform and does not constitute an offering or recommend specific products. It is not a replacement for due diligence. In order to be considered for the IA 50 2019, fund managers needed to have at least $10 million in assets under management, more than 3 years of experience as a firm with impact investing, documented social and/or environmental impact and be available for U.S. investment. Additional details on the selection process are here.

About ImpactAssets

ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments delivering financial, social and environmental returns. ImpactAssets’ donor advised fund (“The Giving Fund”) and field-building initiatives enable philanthropists, other asset owners and their wealth advisors to advance social or environmental change through impact investment and philanthropy.

About the ImpactAssets 50

The IA 50 is the first publicly available database that provides a gateway into the world of impact investing for investors and their financial advisors, offering an easy way to identify experienced impact investment firms and explore the landscape of potential investment options.  The IA 50 is intended to illustrate the breadth of impact investment fund managers operating today, though it is not a comprehensive list.  These 50 firms have been selected to demonstrate a wide range of impact investing activities across geographies, sectors and asset classes.

The 2017 Corporate Philanthropic Practice Conference

Tue, 02/26/2019 - 9:51am

This day and a half conference will address new ways of organizing the function of corporate philanthropy professionals and how they are being impacted by new types of skills needed to interact and support nonprofit partners. We will discuss where the corporate philanthropic sector has been, is now, and where it is headed.

As an attendee, you will learn:

• The pros and cons of using an intermediary organization for help with grantmaking
• How to deal with today’s challenging political and social environment
• Innovative best practices for better relationships, strategies and results
• Insights to manage internal and external expectations

Save $200, when you register with code: CSR200

Smithfield Foods Achieves Industry-Leading Environmental Commitment by Engaging Grain Supply Chain in Sustainable Farming Practices

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 6:50pm

 Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has successfully engaged 80 percent of its grain supply chain, which is used to feed the company’s hogs, in farming practices that are both sustainable and reduce the cost of production for grain farmers. This exceeded the company’s original goal of 75 percent. In 2018, Smithfield purchased grain from producers who use efficient fertilizer and soil health methods across approximately 560,000 acres of land.

Grain production is the first step in the vertically integrated company’s supply chain, making this accomplishment one of the key ways Smithfield is working toward its ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25 percent by 2025 throughout its entire supply chain – the first commitment of its kind from a protein company.

“This accomplishment is a significant milestone in our company’s holistic approach to reducing carbon emissions across our entire supply chain,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “It is important to note that it would not have been possible without the unified efforts of grain farmers, our company, Environmental Defense Fund, and other collaborative partners. This is an important achievement for everyone involved and for our environment.”

While fertilizer is an essential tool for agriculture, it can be a driver of crop-related GHG emissions. A study conducted in 2017 by the University of Minnesota’s NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise, a Smithfield partner, estimated that grain accounted for 15-20 percent of the company’s carbon footprint. To reduce the environmental impact of its grain supply, Smithfield teamed up with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to help farmers find ways to optimize fertilizer use and improve soil health through the Smithfield Agronomics program, also known as SmithfieldGro. The program has helped hundreds of grain suppliers implement efficient fertilizer optimization and soil health initiatives by providing:

  • On-staff agronomists who demonstrate strategies and provide free agronomic advice to enable farmers to incorporate more efficient fertilizer practices.

  • Access to reduced-price tools and programs that assist farmers in improving fertilizer usage, crop production, water quality, and soil health.

  • Economic incentives to diversify crop production and create a market for winter wheat cover crops.

In conjunction with this announcement, EDF released a case study authored by Datu Research that describes Smithfield’s supply chain sustainability programs and the value they generate for the environment, farmers, and Smithfield itself. Within the case study, Datu provides detailed information about Smithfield’s efforts to improve grain farmers’ fertilizer management practices and soil health, as well as the company’s other sustainability initiatives, that were developed in partnership with EDF.

“Smithfield exceeded its grain sustainability goal in only five years. This milestone adds to the growing evidence that improved farming practices can simultaneously benefit farm finances, water quality, and wildlife habitat,” said David Festa, EDF senior vice president of Ecosystems. “Smithfield is an industry leader in tackling supply chain GHG emissions and making the agricultural system more climate resilient. We encourage other food companies and retailers to pursue similarly ambitious, measurable targets.”

In addition to its efforts to help grain farmers grow a more productive and sustainable crop, Smithfield partnered with Anuvia® Plant Nutrients in early 2018 to create sustainable fertilizer from renewable biological materials collected from manure treatment systems at the company’s hog farms. Anuvia’s fertilizer provides the benefit of a more controlled release of nitrogen while reducing GHG emissions and producing a smaller environmental footprint.

Later in 2018, Smithfield announced the expansion of its “manure-to-energy” projects to further reduce its GHG emissions. These efforts transform hog manure into renewable natural gas through a refinement process that captures and upgrades biogas to natural gas that is then injected into nearby pipelines. Smithfield announced the implementation of “manure-to-energy” projects across all its hog finishing spaces in Missouri and 90 percent of its hog finishing spaces in North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia via the nationwide expansion of Smithfield Renewables, the company’s platform dedicated to unifying and accelerating its carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts. In Missouri, Smithfield is also reestablishing native grasslands, prairie, and milkweed to create habitat for monarch butterflies and provide biomass for methane generation in renewable natural gas projects.

For more information about Smithfield’s industry-leading sustainability program, please visit smithfieldfoods.com/environment.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus®, and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental, and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.


Lisa Martin
Smithfield Foods, Inc.
(757) 365-1980

Trends in Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 6:50pm

During a recent ReportAlert webinar, an attendee asked about trends in corporate reporting around CR and sustainability.

To answer, we have invited reporting veteran Tim Woodall and training extraordinaire Nancy Mancilla to share their observations on how corporate reporters are gearing up for 2018 and beyond. 

Hear whether integrated reporting continues gathering steam, how brands are incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals into their updates, and how the Brands Taking Stands movement is manifesting itself in ESG disclosures.

This presentation will also include a focus on two platforms designed for companies and NGOs to drive awareness of their corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives – 3BL Media and ReportAlert.  Dave Armon, CMO of 3BL Media, will moderate the discussion.


IWBI Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 12:50pm

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) has been named to Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies roster, carrying last year’s momentum around WELL full force into 2019. The list honors businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture. IWBI leads the global movement to transform our buildings and communities to help deliver health and wellbeing for all.

“In 2018, we launched WELL v2, stood up the Portfolio program for existing buildings, expanded our geographic footprint, and crossed some big adoption milestones across industries and sectors,” said IWBI Chairman and CEO Rick Fedrizzi. “That success is built firmly on an internal culture of innovation – in our product, in our delivery model, and in how we engage with our customers. To be named No. 6 in the wellness category on a list that includes leaders like Peloton and Parsley Health is humbling and gratifying.”

Fedrizzi noted that in 2018, IWBI registered more than 134 million square feet, which is 108% growth over 2017. Of this, almost half came from portfolios and returning clients, with the rest being individual projects. “In 2018, we supported 82 projects through to certification, which is a 78% increase over 2017. Certified square footage has grown 203% over 2017,” Fedrizzi said.

Some notable WELL certifications in 2018 included:

  • Multiple WELL Interior certifications within WELL Core & Shell buildings
  • First certified warehouse (Prologis)
  • First certified project in India (Citi)
  • First certified coworking project (Workbar)
  • Major end-user clients
    • Finance: Wells Fargo, TD Bank, AEW Capital Management and Citi
    • Consulting: EY and Deloitte
    • Tech: Lenovo
    • Entertainment: Fandango
    • Hospitality: Hyatt

“Our amazing WELL AP community gets a lot of the credit for our continued uptake,” said Fedrizzi. “Today we have more than 7,500 WELL APs and aspirants across the globe, and the launch of WELL v2 has inspired many people to step up to the rigor and the rewards of this level of engagement with WELL.”

Fedrizzi noted that what sets WELL apart is its requirement for performance testing. “We evaluate more than 60 performance indicators, requiring over 20 tests and using more than 10 pieces of equipment to actually verify the performance of your space. Leaders don’t want to guess – they need to know.”

“With the launch of WELL v2, which we built alongside our customers, with the Portfolio program underway with almost 30 global participants, new marketing and sales tools, inspiring educational content, new research and ROI data and a reimagined WELL project platform that delivers value as soon as a project enters into the system, we’re looking forward to continued growth,” said Fedrizzi. “More importantly, we’re excited to be the catalyst for a second wave of sustainability built on human health and wellness through buildings that help people thrive.”

About IWBI and WELL
The International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings and communities in ways that help people thrive. The WELL v2™ Pilot is a recently launched version of its popular WELL Building Standard™ (WELL™), and the WELL Community Standard™ pilot is a district scale rating system that sets a new global benchmark for healthy communities. WELL is focused exclusively on the ways that buildings and communities, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness. IWBI convenes and mobilizes the wellness real estate community through management of the WELL AP™ credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources and advocacy for policies that promote health and wellness everywhere.  For more information about IWBI and WELL, please visit us here.

INTERNATIONAL WELL BUILDING INSTITUTE, IWBI, the WELL BUILDING STANDARD, WELL v2, WELL CERTIFIED, WELL AP, WELL and others, and their related logos are trademarks or certification marks of International WELL Building Institute pbc in the United States and other countries.

SDG Pioneers – International Awards Program Launches in Canada to Recognize Young Professionals Committed to Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 9:49am

As part of the 2019 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers program, Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) has launched a national search for young professionals (35 and under) committed to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Later this year, the GCNC will name one young professional as Canada’s 2019 SDG Pioneer. The awarded individual will then have the opportunity to participate in the final search for global SDG Pioneers and will be recognized during the 2019 UN General Assembly week in September in New York.

By giving young professionals a voice in building a more sustainable future, the 2019 SDG Pioneers program will create a platform for the next generation of leaders. This new outlet will highlight the actions being taken by young professionals in the workforce geared towards the 2030 Agenda.

The GCNC welcomes all senior leaders from the UN Global Compact’s participating companies to nominate their young professionals and have the potential to later join them during the local and global recognition ceremonies. 

Young professionals are also welcomed to submit their own examples for any contributions towards sustainable development or nominate a colleague for consideration in the program. The deadline to apply for the Canadian program is April 1st, 2019. Learn more and view the application form.

“We are excited to help young professionals innovate new business solutions to address today’s global challenges,” says Lise Kingo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “Leadership in the 2030 era requires change agents. Change agents don’t sit around waiting for the future to happen. They create it. They do not choose the path of least resistance. They stay the course, also when they are ridiculed or fought. In the end — they win. They have the future on their side.” 

About the SDG Pioneers Program 

As part of the UN Global Compact’s Making Global Goals Local Business campaign, each year the initiative recognizes a class of SDG Pioneers — business leaders, at any professional level, who are doing an exceptional job at advancing the 17 SDGs. The SDG Pioneers play an essential role in generating interest for the SDGs and how the UN Global Compact is empowering businesses to advance the goals. 

The 2019 SDG Pioneers program has been made possible in-part, with the generous support from the Tuborg Foundation. Learn more

About Global Compact Network Canada

The Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) is the Canadian Network of the United Nations Global Compact - the world's largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative. The GCNC is spearheading the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In doing so, it unifies and builds the capacity of the Canadian private sector to embrace sustainable business practices by convening and accelerating opportunities for multi-stakeholder collaboration. www.globalcompact.ca


Global Compact Network Canada

Jules Zhao

Program and Marketing Manager

Email: jules@globalcompact.ca


Groundbreaking Report by Equileap Ranks General Motors No. 2 U.S. Company on Gender Equality

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 3:44pm

 Equileap, a global organization seeking to accelerate gender equality in the workplace, has ranked the largest companies in the United States in terms of commitment to gender equality. General Motors ranked second in gender equality among companies in the S&P 100 Index and was the only leading U.S. company with no overall gender pay gap (less than 3 percent).

The special report, Gender Equality in the U.S.: Assessing 100 leading companies on workplace equality including healthcare benefits, is a world-first measuring companies based on 21 criteria, including employee access to comprehensive healthcare.

Diana van Maasdijk, CEO at Equileap, explained: “The US is the only developed country in the world not to guarantee women paid maternity leave nor universal healthcare. Therefore, employees are highly reliant on companies offering them a healthcare plan. Ensuring both female and male employees have access to healthcare, including family planning and reproductive health, is an important part of achieving gender equality in the workplace.”

“It’s a great honor to earn further recognition for our gender equality efforts here in the U.S., especially as third-party organizations break new ground on measurement providing deeper analysis of workplace equality in America’s leading companies,” said Ken Barrett, global chief diversity officer, General Motors. “General Motors is focused on building a winning culture--one that provides opportunity and an environment that allows each employee to reach his/her highest potential. We understand that we win together as one team and share the responsibility of helping GM shape the future of mobility.”


1. Citigroup

2. General Motors

3. Bank of America

4. Johnson & Johnson

5. JPMorgan Chase

6. Merck

7. Chevron

8. Visa

9. Walmart

10. Nvidia

Equileap’s research shows that companies are making progress in having a gender-balanced workforce but have a lot to do in terms of bringing gender balance to senior levels of the company. GM is one of only four companies with a gender-balanced board at the time of the study, along with Starbucks, Wells Fargo and ConocoPhillips.

Equal pay & gender pay parity

  • You can’t change what you can’t measure: only one company in the S&P 100 published information related to its gender pay gap or gender pay parity.

  • General Motors scores full marks for having no overall gender pay gap (less than 3 percent) and for providing equal pay for equal work at all levels within the company.

  • 19 companies publish a strategy to close their gender pay gap.

Policies promoting gender equality

  • The #Metoo effect: 71 percent of companies have an anti-sexual harassment policy in place, the highest levels of such a policy recorded in any Equileap research.

  • 81 percent of the companies have a supplier diversity program that supports women-owned businesses, compared to 23 percent for the global benchmark.

Last October, GM was ranked as the leading company in the world for gender equality in the workplace in Equileap’s annual global study. Equileap researched and ranked top public companies across 23 developed countries, 3,206 in all, ranking 200 top companies making progress toward gender equality. The 21 criteria encompass gender balance across all levels of the company, parental leave, equal pay, policies as well as access to healthcare including family planning and maternal health.


Unlike any other equality research, Equileap uses the world’s first in-depth cross-sector ranking system to assess and monitor thousands of companies across the globe. For this special report Gender Equality in the U.S., Equileap used its proprietary Gender Equality Scorecard of 19 criteria (including gender balance at all levels of a company, career development, work-life balance, equal pay, family leave and health and safety) in addition to two healthcare-related factors, to rank the companies within the S&P 100 Index. All data collected is based on information that the companies themselves make publicly available, except for healthcare plan-related questions, where internal information was also accepted as it is often subject to confidentiality. A more detailed methodology can be found in the report.

About Equileap

Equileap is an organization aiming to accelerate progress towards gender equality in the workplace, using the power of investments, grants and knowledge. Headquartered in Amsterdam and London, the organization is a registered charity and all profits are used to support women through social impact projects that tackle the root causes of gender inequality. Equileap is the leading organization providing data and insights on gender equality in the corporate sector. Products & services are tailored for companies, governments and investors. To date, USD 620 million has been invested in financial products powered by Equileap data.


The information included in this document is issued by Equileap and is intended for information and discussion purposes only and is not intended, and should not be interpreted, as investment advice or an offer to acquire units in any investment vehicle or company. Equileap does not provide any investment advice and is not registered as an undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities nor as an alternative investment fund. People who wish to make a contribution to the Equileap Foundation (which is an ANBI for Dutch tax purposes) or who would like to support Equileap and its objects in another manner, are advised to consult their own legal or tax advisor. | © Equileap, 2017. All rights reserved. Stichting Equileap Foundation is a tax exempt ANBI (RSIN/Fiscaal Identificatie Nummer 8560 58 88)


Jennifer Korail +1 (313) 319-0584 jennifer.korail@gm.com General Motors

Wells Fargo Donated $444 Million to 11,000 Nonprofits in 2018

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 3:44pm

Wells Fargo increased its philanthropic impact in 2018 by donating $444 million to nearly 11,000 nonprofits to help communities and people in need. The company has been committed to local communities throughout its 167-year history and has increased its philanthropy 25 times over the past 28 years.

“We approach philanthropy with a problem-solving mindset,” said Wells Fargo CEO and President Tim Sloan. “We want to help people find an affordable place to live, work with diverse small business owners on growth and expansion, and support young people in learning job skills that can translate into a steady income. It is a privilege to collaborate with non-profits in the U.S. and around the world to make a difference in the communities where we live and work. And we recognize that families and neighborhoods need the public and private sectors to work together in providing both resources and expertise.”

Making an impact in the community

In collaboration with thousands of community leaders, Wells Fargo concentrated its 2018 philanthropy on addressing urgent community issues. Examples include:

  • Affordable housing with more than $117 million to help people buy a home, including down payment assistance, homebuyer education and financial coaching. More than $75 million was given through NeighborhoodLIFT®, the company’s long-running homeownership program for low- and moderate-income communities in partnership with NeighborWorks America. The initiative expanded to nine new cities and also added special incentives to enable hundreds of teachers, military service members, veterans, and first responders to achieve homeownership. In 2019, the program will reach 10 additional cities. Since 2012, LIFT has helped create 20,000 homeowners since 2012 with a total of $442 million donated over seven years. Through the Wells Fargo Builds℠ program, Wells Fargo team members built and improved 489 affordable homes with more than 57,700 volunteer hours in 2018. The Veterans Community Project in Kansas City, Mo., and HouseATL in Atlanta are other examples of affordable housing programs supported locally by Wells Fargo.

  • Small business growth with $24 million to provide access to capital and training for entrepreneurs in rural and urban markets. As part of this total, $20 million went to empower diverse small business owners as part of a previously announced Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital (DCC) $175 million commitment through 2020. Since its inception in 2015, DCC has helped small business owners retain and create 36,000 jobs, according to Opportunity Finance Network. As part of the DCC program, the Carolina Small Business Development Fund is working with Historically Black Colleges and Universities as one of nearly 45 Community Development Financial Institutions that received grants across 25 states and Washington D.C. in 2018. In San Francisco, La Cocina tapped its grant to nurture women food entrepreneurs and aspiring restaurant owners with technical training and access to its commercial kitchen.

  • Economic equity and inclusion with $216 million allocated to nonprofits that serve diverse and historically underserved groups, including African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and American Indian/Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. A total of $90 million advanced inclusion across the LGBTQ community, veterans and people with disabilities. With funding from Wells Fargo, including a $5 million commitment to seed a Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund, GRID Alternatives has provided 2,000 low-income and tribal households with solar power to decrease energy bills and trained 3,500 individuals in solar installation. Educational programs through the Urban League Entrepreneurship Center in Philadelphia and small business training for people of color, immigrants and low-income individuals through the Ventures program in Seattle are other ways funding works toward economic inclusion.

  • Access to education with $90 million allocated to education in local communities, including K-12 support, scholarships and financial education. Projects like a new technology center and library renovation for an elementary school in Vallejo, Calif., college preparation for low-income students in Miami and Los Angeles, a holistic reading and virtual volunteer tutoring program with Read by 4th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, teacher innovation grants in San Antonio, Texas, financial training in Nebraska and solar energy education in Charlotte, North Carolina help increase learning. Beyond scholarships, the Hands On Banking® program is a public service offered by Wells Fargo. This free, non-commercial financial education program, available in English and Spanish, teaches people of all ages about responsible money management – including specific modules for youth, adults, veterans, seniors, and entrepreneurs. In 2018, more than 1.7 million people learned about money management through the Hands on Banking program, with adult participants reporting a 14% increase in knowledge about managing their expenses, 24% increased intention to save for emergencies, and a 22% boost in confidence that they can gain control of their financial situation.

  • Enabling a low-carbon economy with $16 million to support the work of nonprofits helping communities become more resilient through environmental education, resiliency planning, green infrastructure, bringing renewable energy to low-income communities and advancing clean technology. The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is a clean-technology incubator and platform whose mission is to speed the path to market for early-stage, clean energy and agriculture technologies. To date, the 25 participating companies have raised more than $122 million in follow-on funding from external sources beyond the $250,000 in non-dilutive funding provided to each by IN2; six have conducted beta tests at Wells Fargo or National Renewable Energy Laboratory facilities; and four have successfully exited the program via mergers or acquisitions.

“We are living in an unprecedented time in which people need to come together to solve challenges,” said Jon R. Campbell, president of the Wells Fargo Foundation. “With so many Americans working to make ends meet, there’s an increased urgency for immediate assistance as well as strategic, long-term action to address systemic challenges like poverty, affordable housing and sustainable neighborhoods. Part of what makes Wells Fargo’s philanthropy unique is our local approach, a commitment extended by the volunteerism of our team members.”

Recognizing team member philanthropy and volunteerism

In 2019, for the 10th consecutive year, United Way Worldwide has recognized Wells Fargo for having the No. 1 team member giving campaign in the U.S. This distinction comes from team members who collectively pledged $75.4 million in 2018 during Wells Fargo’s internal Community Support Campaign, which aims to lift communities and take on challenges like economic disparity, hunger, homelessness, animal welfare and more.

Wells Fargo team members also donated 2 million hours of volunteer time in 2018. More than 96,000 team members across the U.S. volunteered at local schools, food pantrieshomes for veterans and underserved families, animal shelters and more. Wells Fargo offers 16 hours of paid volunteer time annually.

Supporting team members during times of need

Wells Fargo has a long tradition of helping its team members during times of financial hardship. In 2018, $6 million in emergency grants for team members were made available in the company’s WE Care Fund. The fund was established in 2001 to help team members suffering unexpected medical issues, natural disasters and other life-changing events. The Wells Fargo Team Member Dependent Children Scholarship Fund is another employee resource that helps cover college costs so parents and students can worry less and enjoy the college years more.

About Wells Fargo

Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,800 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com). Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. With approximately 259,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In 2018, Wells Fargo donated $444 million to nearly 11,000 nonprofits in support of affordable housing, small business growth, financial education, and sustainability, among other community needs. For 10 consecutive years, Wells Fargo has held the honor of No. 1 in workplace giving by United Way Worldwide. Wells Fargo team members also make a difference by donating more than 2 million hours of volunteer time in the last year. News, insights and more information on the company’s corporate responsibility are available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Kim Erlichson, 201-463-4243

New Grants in Science, Fashion, Architecture & Product Design

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 9:43am

Supporting communities by supporting the sciences through the arts for animal welfare and wildlife conservation, The Zoological Lighting Institute is awarding four $1000 grants in the design fields (fashion, architecture and product design) and eight $500 grants within the sciences of light and life (photobiology, sensory ecology and environmental studies). Two special ‘PhotoDiversity’ grants aim to promote social inclusion across the sciences and design fields, though every ZLI Award takes the embrace of diversity as a priority. Sustainable design grants are open to all, with the ‘PhotoSciences’ grants being available to graduate and post-doctorate researchers. Applicants wishing to obtain a The Zoological Lighting Institute Grant should follow procedures listed at <<www.zoolighting.org>>.

“The Zoological Lighting Institute is proud to encourage research that raises awareness of the importance of natural light, and the terrible challenge posed to community health, safety and welfare by changes to the natural luminous world,” relayed Dr. James Karl Fischer, The Zoological Lighting Institute Executive Director. “We believe in positive support to address challenges, and in the creativity of designers and scientists alike to tackle seemingly impossible situations. The fact of the matter is that light pollution is a direct and major cause of biodiversity-loss, harming animals and humans alike. We believe that together we can do something about this.”

The Zoological Lighting Institute is actively seeking co-marketing and CSR partnerships for this grant program, and to fund full post doctorate studies in the future. For CSR Inquiries, please contact Program Director Hazel Sangalang  at admin@zoolighting.org.


The Zoological Lighting Institute is a unique charitable 501 c(3) with a mission to ‘Support the Sciences of Light and Life through the Arts for Animal Welfare and Wildlife Conservation,’  The Zoological Lighting Institute embraces the concept of ‘PhotoDiversity,’ referring to the importance that the diversity of natural light holds for living things, as well as the importance of cultural, social and human diversity has for science and its application. With an international Board of Directors overseeing four departments, including Film & Media, Education, Sustainable Design and the PhotoSciences, The Zoological Lighting Institute is breaking new terrain in the application of science to address the under appreciated realm of light and life. Please visit www.zoolighting.org for more information.

Dr. Brett Seymoure PhD, ZLI PhotoSciences Department Chair




NHBSR's 2019 Spring Conference